My grandmother was obsessed with Bounty paper towels

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

My grandmother loved Bounty paper towels. They were indeed "the quicker picker upper," as advertised in their commercials. They were her favorite paper towels. Whenever we went shopping together, she would load up on Bounty paper towels, and it had to be Bounty. No other brand would do.

Once in a while, she would walk alone to the local neighborhood market and pick up a few more rolls of Bounty paper towels. It didn't matter that she didn't need them. She wanted to add them to her growing collection.

The paper towels had to be white, full sheet, with no pattern in order to satisfy my grandmother. She found uses for those paper towels that would have made the company proud. She used them as napkins, she used them to clean her windows, she used them to dry her dishes...

If my mother gave her a plastic container filled with food for her to eat, my grandmother would return the empty container filled with sheets of Bounty paper towels, folded to fit perfectly inside.

One day when my mother and I went to visit my grandmother in her home, we spotted a tower of paper towel rolls stacked on the bed in the spare bedroom in a perfect pyramid that rose nearly to the ceiling.

Stacked along three of the four walls of the room, there stood an unbroken row of Bounty paper towels.

The room measured 9'X12'. So the line of wrapped paper towel rolls measured a good thirty feet in length.

My grandmother was proud of her paper towel rolls. She caught us marveling at the sheer volume of paper towels she had amassed in her spare bedroom and was more than happy to show them off to us.

The only thing that ever made my grandmother upset was being forced to purchase paper towels with prints on them instead of solid white. She hated those little printed designs, but sometimes they were the only paper towels available.

We asked her if she'd like to switch to another brand on those occasions when the store sold only printed Bounty, and she was insistent. It was better to have Bounty printed with whimsical unwanted designs than to suffer a lesser paper towel.

My grandmother passed away before the advent of online shopping, but I think she would have loved the ease of ordering Bounty paper towels by the case if only to add to her collection. When she did pass away, she left behind hundreds of rolls of unused paper towels. All Bounty. No prints.

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